The Journey of Hajj through the eyes of Birth
I stepped off the plane and boarded a shuttle, we were making our way to Makkah. Labbayka Allāhumma Labbayk. Labbayk Lā Sharīka Laka Labbayk. Inna l-Ḥamda, Wa n-Niʻmata, Laka wal Mulk, Lā Sharīka Lak. "Here I am at your service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at your service and you have no partners. You alone are All Praise and All Bounty, and you alone are The Sovereignty. You have no partners."
We kept repeating these lines, over and over again. My excitement was bursting from the seams mixed with many other emotions. This feeling felt familiar. I closed my eyes to channel where I’ve felt like this before. Ahh yes, the birth of my children…
As the days went by, I found that birth and Hajj were very much intertwined. The emotional processes seemed almost identical to each other.
When labor starts you become overwhelmed with excitement, you can’t sit still or seem to rest, and you want the whole world to know your baby will be coming soon. Often times you end up over exhausting yourself.
I found this to be true for Hajj as well. Once we got to our hotel I just wanted to run to the Kaba, to just sit there and do as many tawafs and prayers as I could, and to just stay up all night and never rest. How could you rest with the most majestic structure, the Kaba in your presence?
Labor continues. It’s getting stronger and harder, it’s time to focus, and to listen to your body. You are in active labor now...The days of Hajj start, you are moved to Mina where you will take part in many of the rituals tied to Hajj. It’s work, hard work. You must stay positive, motivated and strong. You are tired, sleep deprived and hot, but you push through. Allah doesn’t give you a burden you cannot carry.
Allah doesn’t give you a burden you can not carry. Keep reminding yourself this— you’ve got this mama. Baby is almost here. Water breaks, we’ve entered transition. So close, but not without work. You break down, you cry, “I can’t do it, it’s too hard, please help me.” “Shhh,” a gentle voice reminds you to submit. Submit to Allah, let it all go and submit to His decree.
Arafah. Arafah IS Hajj. I never understood why everyone would say that until I stood there on those hot plains myself. This is it, you are at your most vulnerable state infront of Allah, the Most High, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind. Ask, ask of Him your needs. Beg, beg for His forgiveness. Cry, cry to him for help. You feel ashamed to come in front of Allah like this, He gave you everything yet you still disobeyed. It becomes hard to stand all day, yet you do it. You know this is the most important time to make dua. You close your eyes and you submit yourself completely and fully to Him. Submit.
Baby is crowning, you feel his head. Is the end really near? Will I finally hold my baby soon? Bismillah with one last push your baby is in your arms, beautiful and sweet. Rejoice mama, you did it! You accomplished the biggest feat of your life! You smell your newborn baby, this new being Allah fashioned inside your womb and sent to you as a gift, free of sin or any wrongdoing. Allah’s generosity has no bounds! You thank Him, you bow your head in prostration and thank Him.
Tawaf Al Ifadah, the tawaf of Hajj. After this you have completed your Hajj. You start your first of seven rounds around the Kaba. Each round bringing you closer to the end. Once complete you pray your two rakats and finish your Sa’ee. You came to the end, you did it. You completed your Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam! You raise your hands and give gratitude to Allah for inviting you on this journey. Now that your Hajj is complete you are free of all past sins. You are like a newborn baby fresh from its mother's womb…
***The first 40 days of postpartum is a time to bond with your baby. To rest and reflect on the journey your body went through. Likewise the first 40 days after Hajj your dua’s are accepted. It’s a time to also reflect on the spiritual journey you went through. To connect with yourself and your heart.